“Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is illusion.” Brennan Manning

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Growing into Who God Says I Am - Beloved

Have you ever been disappointed?  Or started something new and just felt like it was a hopeless cause?  I'm sure we all have these moments, but God sees our efforts and He says, "you are enough."  Really, even if no one notices us and we feel like we are all alone, God sees us and He delights in us.  We are His beloved children.

My children love to show me what they can do.  When they learn to ride a bike, write their name, sound out a word, or do a back-handspring, they want me to SEE them and cheer them on.  Many times I want this same affirmation from others.  I want them to SEE me and give me their 'thumbs up.'

But, God is my Daddy and He is the only Voice that counts.  I want to learn to always be listening to His reassuring Voice that says, "Paula, I got you.  You are Mine.  I like you the way you are.  You don't have to prove anything to me.  You are loved."  In His Presence, I can rest.

I think of Jesus and the way that He lived here on earth.  For the first 30 years of his life, He was just an average guy still living with His parents and working with His father.  He grew up in the favor of God and man.  "There the child grew strong in body and wise in spirit.  And the grace of God was on him," Luke 2:40.

Jesus was confident of who He was as a Beloved Son of God.  He knew where He belonged, in God's house.  His parents were not impressed, but upset and hurt when they found Him in the Temple among the teachers.  Jesus explained to them that He was doing His Father's work, but they didn't know what He was talking about.  Their reaction didn't make him waver, because He had learned to listen to His Father's Voice. He was still respectful to his parents, but He didn't let that stop Him from doing what He was called to do.

I want this kind of unwavering confidence!

God, help me to practice listening to Your Voice even when those around me don't understand or appreciate me.  That's okay.  Jesus was not appreciated by those closest to Him as well.  Help me step into what You are calling me to do, without fearing rejection.  And really, I believe You first want to show me who I am, Your Beloved Daughter.  May I operate from a place of security, knowing that You approve of me just the way I am.  Thank you, Jesus, for being our example of living free from man's control and approval.  Thank you, Holy Spirit, for enabling us to live like Jesus - FREE!  You are a good Daddy to us.  Thank you that you preapprove us as Your children just as we are.  May we live knowing we are loved unconditionally.

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